Connecting with the great outdoors via a camping trip is a great way to share priceless memories with your children or a love interest. By using the Great Smoky Mountains as your backdrop , you will have a serene trip filled with wonderful sights, smells, and experiences. Want to know how to go about making this camping trip the best experience that it can be? Read on!
Family Camping In the Smokies
For families and couples who want to enjoy the national park for camping, there are 10 sites ready for you to set up camp: Abrams Creek, Big Creek, Balsam Mountain, Cosby, Cades Cove, Deep Creek, Cataloochee, Smokemont, Elkmont, and Look Rock.
Some amenities are provided by the park, such as running cold water, grill grates, tables, and flushing toilets, but for other things such as showers the campers will need to utilize resources in the surrounding community. They don’t call it roughing it for nothing! The fee per night is anywhere from $14-20 depending on the area and the dates that the particular site is open or closed will depend as well. For the most part, the camp sites are open from March-October, but each one has different specific dates that can be checked here for your itinerary: http://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/frontcountry–camping.htm
Group Camping in the Smoky Mountains
There are seven great areas where group camping is allowed within the Great Smoky Mountains Park, so taking note of that as well as the allowed dates will be the first thing that you want to do when planning your eastern Tennessee trip. The parks are open for camping generally from mid-spring until October 31st, so plan accordingly and prepare for a great experience. The cost of renting a campsite per night is relatively low, with the price range being between $26-65 a night, depending on the area of the park. The following areas are national park camp sites and are for tent usage only: Big Creek, Cades Cove, Cataloochee, Cosby, Deep Creek, Smokemont, Elkmont. These areas require that at least 8 people must be in a camping group.
What to Do on Your Camping Trip
Stop and stock up on firewood, food, and other supplies before coming to the camp grounds because some don’t provide anything and some have limited resources. The surrounding towns such as Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge have great stores that can provide these vital things. The best food of course will be yummy trout that you catch in the many streams and rivers through out the park! Nothing says camping trip like the smell of fresh fish roasting over an open fire. Well, some marshmallows for s’mores afterwards may say camping even more!
While on your camping trip, there are wonderful things to entertain you while within the park or in the neighboring communities! The previously mentioned fishing is a great way to have a relaxing and still useful activity, hiking is a stress-relieving fun way to get in some exercise and marvel at the beauty of nature, and photographing the majestic sights is also a way to have a fun time around the park (especially if you come across one of the awe-inspiring waterfalls)! There are many roads winding through out the park, which makes it very accessible for auto tours. There needn’t be a dull moment in your trip unless you WANT some quiet relaxation languishing in your tent.
If you prefer not to sleep in a tent, but still want to enjoy Smokies nature, check out our Gatlinburg cabin rentals and make your roughing it a little less rough. Enjoy your time in Tennessee!